New stuff at Work

In work news I’ve begun the arduous task of increasing our search engine rankings for some sites at work, and I’ve written an article about how I’m increasing search engine rankings. I’ve also begun the same work on our haunted house road rally themed site. The work I’ve done so far has involved adding our company to google maps, formatting the text on the site to include our specified key words, and to begin a blog. The blog will also double as a source for our users to interact with the developement of the danger run, or myself in general with regards to the website. I imagine the blog won’t see near the traffic that I hop the forum will end up seeing.

On a lighter note I bought guitar hero II today for my 360 and must say I’m enjoying it thoroughly. I’ve also decided I need to come up with an asp.NET project that operates like a web 2.0 app, which means including the dreaded ajax. More for experience then anything else.

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Not much

Well there isn’t much to report. I’ve been working on a flash game with pre-rendered 3d art for work. Dairy Queen is one of our sponsors, which helps pay to make the virtual Danger Run. Other then that I’m going to Lafayette again this weekend to celebrate a birthday, and to just visit all my friends. Also almost forgot, I’m starting work on my M.B.A., but I won’t be finishing that for several years, ha. Hopefully I can find time to do some more work to this site, as I’d like to make it database driven so I don’t have to fool with the archives. I also have several freelance jobs lined up, so I feel like I’m starting to get swamped.

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xhtml section added

I’ve added an xhtml playground, and to view the site you need a proper browser. (Safari, Firefox, Opera, or Konqueror) Ie6-7 cannot interpret the xhtml mime type and you get a download prompt. So get a real browser and lets try to finally move to xhtml. Even though we’re about 5 years behind schedule on that one, with about another 5 years to go!

The section is currently fairly lame as I’ve just been busy trying to get it to work (damn remote hosting) and have just a test document up at the moment. Later I intended to play around fully with SVG. Although I am upset with my current tests however, as the SVG support in Firefox seems rather limited. Either way, keep on the lookout for that.

I also modified a page for a co-worker, as she was redesigning her portfolio and was trying to use tables for layout, so I made this CSS2 layout for her. If you have time stop by and check out some of her work, it’s pretty good (maybe that’s because some if it’s my work too? ;P)

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New tutorials + php

Two new articles up in the tutorials section, both aimed at beginners; “How to write HTML like XHTML” and “How to decide on XHTML or HTML”. For the latter article I tried to take an impartial side to the debate, but that’s only so possible as XHTML has some major flaws that have to be addressed.

In other news I took out the ajax (was keeping adsense from display ads relevent to the content, plus I had no meaningful meta content for each page) So now I’m using php to generate a header and footer, and slap the content in the middle. Next I’ll be writing a function that can be called from the content page to pass meta values to the header page. In addition I think I’m going to write a “contact” page so I can get my email off the page header. I would prefer not to be gettin junk mail at my main email.

Last up for current articles will be a learn html article, as it’s hard to find any reliable articles out there that stress form.

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AJAX source

I’ve decided that with my new interest in this site and web standards I’d write an article based on web standards for the beginner. A simplified version of the xhtml vs. html argument , doc types, and writing valid code. Which should become available in the coming weeks.

The topic has required a lot of reasearch on the subject, which was necessary based on all the unfounded arguments floating around ont he web. Not to mention just a general misunderstanding of xhtml and html. It seems as if neither side really understands the other (akin to a generational gap between a grandparent and their grandchild) to the point where they will make wild assumptions about the other markup langauge.

I have reduced some of the functionality of the ajax script before I end up removing it all together. I’ll paste it here so that you can see it in it’s entirety if I do completely remove it. The httprequest object creation is based off the script I found at w3schools.

function createAjax() {
  var xmlHttp;
  if (window.XMLHttpRequest) {
    xmlHttp=new XMLHttpRequest();
  }
  else if(window.ActiveXObject) {
    try {
      xmlHttp=new ActiveXObject("Msxml2.XMLHTTP");
    }
    catch (e) {
      try {
        xmlHttp=new ActiveXObject("Microsoft.XMLHTTP");
      }
      catch (e) {
        alert("Your browser does not support AJAX!");
        return false;
      }
    }
  }
  return xmlHttp;
}

function getType(name) {
  xmlHttp=createAjax();
  xmlHttp.onreadystatechange=function() {
    if(xmlHttp.readyState==4) {
      document.getElementById("content").innerHTML=xmlHttp.responseText;
    }
  }
  xmlHttp.open("GET",name + ".html",true);
  xmlHttp.send(null);
}

Quite simply I call getType() with an onClick() event on one of my links, passing it the content type I want. I.E. if I want about.html, I just call getType(‘about’). Then an HttpRequest is created, and the responses is placed inside my content div tag.

I eventually plan on removing this completely, but will instead start using it for comment areas on my articles (or whatever else I feel needs it). This initial implementation was simply a demonstration for myself and my friends. I was also interested in how standards compliant it was. That’s about all for now, so until later.

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AJAX because I Can!

I’m at a record pace this week, with two whole posts. The reason of this post is I added some superflous technology to the site and wanted to share with you. I’ve been reading up on AJAX lately and implemented it in my site. If you don’t know what AJAX is, you will notice when you click on any of the links to the left that lead you to a page that looks like this one, the whole page doesn’t refresh, only the content area does. AJAX allows you to make http requests without reloading the page (which is pretty handy.) One good example of this is the events calender webiste onCurrent. Their nav and content are seperated so you only have to reload the important part of the page.

Now my site is entirely too small for bandwith to really be a concern and I don’t have any dynamic content, so it’s really not nessecary. However, I still wanted to implement it in site, and it does allow me to seperate the rest of my page from all it’s content. I.e. I can update the header or the navBar in one page and it’ll show up on every page thereafter, as opposed to having to make the change on every single page.

This method does have it’s drawbacks though. If a user has javascript disabled they cannot veiw my site. I will have to find a way to send users with javascript turned off to a page where it’s not used. Again that may not be necessary as I’m fairly certain my user-base will all have javascript enabled. But as a saftey measure I think I’ll add a warning.

It’s a fairly simple bit of code if you get it from my scripts directory you can see. I guess the next improvement is to be some dynamic pages, I’m assuming a comments page. So I can at least get some use out of this technology. That’s all for now.

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New Website Design

New design now, standards compliant, much smaller in filesize, and looks better in my opinion. It’s based completely on css2 for layout, which is good because table layout is hideous. In this post I’ve included a step by step walkthrough of the process I used to create santashotline.com’s page layout. It was the second design version and really benefitted from an attempt at understanding the customer’s needs/wants and evoking those through art and text.

Here are the steps I took to design santashotline.com

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Archived news

Well, the busy season is finally over. I got a job in September and failed to report it here as I’ve been working overtime since then, and it’s kept me extremely busy. Least of which included several issues with my cars; yes that was plural. However, things are going much more smoothly now, and I even have time to play games and go to the gym without struggling to fit everything in.

Now that a lot of my work is complete here are some examples of my work santshotline.com (all work done by myself, except the characters) holidaylighting.com santasjukebox.com santaproof.com greetingsfromsanta.com lettersfromstanclaus.com (all artwork was done by someone else, I just turned it into a html page, and did all the custom coding)

We also have two other sites that I’ve just been doing upkeep on santasornamentshop.com and santas-depot.com We’re doing complete redesigns on both, of which santa’s ornament shop is going to be my complete creation minus the shopping cart software.

I just bought an xbox 360 ($400 yikes!) and am thoroughly enjoying it, as my computer is currently broken. It seems I’m having the worst luck with anything mechanical this year, hopefully that will change next year. Also this new year, I’ll be moving out again in march, so look to have some parties if you live in the louisville area. I plan on renting a house with some friends so there won’t be any worry about the neighbors. That’s about all for now, have a happy new year!

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Lanparty

Lanparty for Thanksgiving weekend.

Ok gang, time to upgrade this season. We’re gonna try and run a gigabit ethernet network this time around, so you’ll need some new hardware. You’ll need a new cable, perferably Cat 6, but cat 5e will work (just not as fast). You can buy these at Tigerdirect.com or newegg.com for 3-5 dollars depending. Next you’ll need a new card if yours isn’t rated at 10/100/1000. Check your card manual, or your mobo manual if your card is onboard. Both (onboard and pci) will run at relatively the same speed, but you may notice some speed increases with the pci card linked below, as it seems to have extremely low processor overhead. If you’re blessed to have pci express slots check either of the two links below(it’s the fastest).

I’m planning on ordering quite a bit of stuff, so if you want to save on shipping email me (or call 812-736-1313) with your order and I’ll bring it to the party. You will owe me for the product, and I’ll cover the shipping. Just get the order to me by Nov 16th, so I can test the equipment to make sure it all works.

Pci Express Card 1 – $32.99

Pci Express Card 2 – $39.99

Pci Card 1 (I wouldn’t reccomend any others based on it’s reviews/price) – $12.99

This article pretty much explains why you’d rather have pci express over pci. Just remember that onboard cards are attached pci devices, so they share the pci bus speed.

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Moved again

My lease was up in lafayette so I moved back home to southeren indiana while continuing my job search. I’ve added another user as well, and will be linking to his site in the hosted area as soon as he puts up his site.

I’ve added a link to the webmail I’m providing to my users, in addition I added a link to the user portal for them as well. I think I may have a breakthough on the job search… stay tuned for more info.

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